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9/17/2004

No Iraq WMD

Early reporting on the Duelfer Report indicates that Hussein lacked WMDs, but retained an "intent" to restart programs at some point in the future [Seattle Times, Associated Press]. This raises two important questions: 1. what does this mean regarding Saddam's compliance with UN resolutions prior to the invasion? 2. would it have been illegal for Hussein to restart his program after the lifting of sanctions?

The Duelfer Report notes that Saddam was in breach for his development of unmanned aerial vehicles, his retention of assassination related posions, and his importation of dual use technology, but doesn't discuss the specific UN resolutions implicated. Obviously, intransigence re: inspections was the key violation, but there was a dog and pony aspect to the event, where we knew he wasn't cooperating because he wasn't telling us about the weapons he had.

If Saddam retained an intent to restart programs when the sanctions were removed, was he violating a law? would he have been violating a law if he actually had restarted his programs post-sanctions? Obviously, if he was a signatory to the various conventions outlawing biological and chemical weapons, or the NPT, those laws are implicated. Otherwise, I'm not sure if his disarmament was intended for perpetuity.

 

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